Not less that seven people have been killed in an explosion at a religious school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar.
Police officials report that the blast wounded 70 others, many of them children.
The blast occurred at the Speen Jamaat mosque, which also serves as a religious school for local children, at 8:30am local time (3:30 GMT) on Tuesday, a police official said.
“It was not a suicide attack, there were explosives that had been kept in a bag there,” he said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.
Television footage from the scene of the blast showed significant damage to the interior of the mosque’s main prayer hall, with pockmarks dotting the ceiling and debris strewn across the floor.
Provincial health minister Taimur Khan Jhagra said the wounded were being treated at the Lady Reading Hospital, the city’s main government hospital.
“There have been 72 [wounded] patients brought to LRH, and there have been seven unfortunate deaths,” Jhagra told reporters at the hospital.
“Our sole focus right now is for the injured patients to be given the best possible care and so that they have the best chance to recover.”